Thursday, June 19, 2014

moving to a bigger cardboard box

I'm moving my blog today.

Which reminded me of this picture of Steeb bringing home an enormous watermelon box for us to play in two summers ago. (my how that little boy has grown)

Blogs are a little like cardboard playhouses. Very real in some ways and completely just imagination in other ways. You can get as fancy or as plain as you like, invite lots of friends over or just your dolls. There's endless room for customization if you have a good box blade or a little code to work with.

I spent 8 years blogging in this playhouse and now I have made a little website to call my own.

It's just
so simple.

Come on over and look around.

I'll be cutting some new windows from the digital cardboard and maybe coloring the walls with virtual crayons as time goes on.  But for now, it's good enough to play in.

Thank you for reading my words for all this time. Would you like a sip of imaginary tea?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I spent Mother's Day in Edison, WA with my guys. When the little one got bored in the car, I told him to pretend his window was a television and we were watching a documentary on one of America's most scenic byways. I love that he is four now, because lines like that work. And I love that we were on Chuckanut Drive, so it was also true.

 (James Reisen made this fruit crate boom box that really jams. Get it: fruit/jams.)
 We poked around the Lucky Dumpster and restocked their shelves with pins, hats and critters. The little town is so bustling this time of year, it took quite a while to get in our business, hugs and jive talk with James between customers.

The NOMAD trailer was parked down the way and I finally picked up a deck of Jen's gorgeous tarot cards.

Lunch came from Mariposa and we dripped our delicious tacos all over the sidewalk while watching a bird fly in and out of it's nest hole in the wall at the Lucky D.

It was the perfect mix of making money and spending money with people we love, to make this mama feel good all over.

I hope this spring holds some sweet adventures for you too. Even if they are just backyard, down the road, making business a pleasure kinds of adventures.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

alt for everyone, generocity and style

I entered another Instagram dance off with Hilary Rushford and this time I got the prize!

As a winner, I get to attend alt for everyone tomorrow. It is a virtual version of their alternative design conference. As much as I would love to attend the in-person event this summer (Martha fricken Stewart is the keynote speaker!) I am equally excited to learn and network without having to drive to an airport or arrange childcare. I signed up for classes around my weekly walk, preschool drop off and the farmers market. I'll even be able to sew hats at the studio and make dinner for my little family while filling up on inspiration.

I am so grateful to Hilary Rushford for her real life style tips and business savvy and for generously giving me the seat at the conference.

She's got a gorgeous video series coming out tomorrow that will teach you how to feel more fabulous with what you already have in your closet. No matter what your shape or budget, if you want to love getting dressed in the morning more often, you should check it out. And if you don't hang out on Instagram, here's my 15 seconds of fame:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 favorite FREE apps for photos

Here are the three free apps I have been playing with this spring to add new dimensions to my photos. You do not have to use Instagram to use these apps, although that is why they were developed. You do however have to have photos on a smart phone or ipad as they are all touch screen type apps.

This is the one I am most excited about. You can add text, overlays, crops and play with all the levels of opacity and size. It's not going to be as precise as photoshop or illustrator because it is all done on a touch screen. But whoa, you can do all that with a touch screen. The colors are plentiful enough for me, but if you have a specific Pantone color you are trying to match for your project, you will have to just go with a close enough shade of seafoam green.
So far I have just messed around with the designs that it comes with. There are other packs of themed fonts and squiggles that you can purchase or add for free. If you are using it professionally, naturally make choices within your brand's color story and style and keep everything very readable. Stay away from adding diamonds and moustaches to every picture for example, unless you sell diamond encrusted moustaches.

There are many free apps that do this basic thing. Again I would avoid the super wacky starburst and squiggle line formations. Stick with a simple grid or row of images and take off the preset photo corners frame for a cleaner look. You can also add some text with this one. It does have ads that pop up, which is annoying, but that's why it's free.


Choose your photos in the order you want them to go as there isn't any drag and drop rearranging of the order. But you can duplicate an image for it to last longer. Once you have your images chosen the app sets the length of each photo to fit in either a 15 or 30 second clip. You can add a title to the beginning. For a small one time fee you can remove the Flipagram watermark and replace it with your own name at the bottom.
If you have music on your device you can insert that. You can narrate a voice over. Or they offer previews of popular songs that you can use without any copyright issues.

Although I have spent several hours figuring out how to get the look I want from these programs, they are remarkably intuitive and fun. When I would start to get frustrated with their quirks or limitations I would remind myself that I was creating professional materials for myself with technology I already own. What a powerful feeling to have these tools at my fingertips.
I hope you have fun exploring these apps. Let me know if you have any favorites I should try.

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Bellingham Farmer's Market Opens this Saturday 10am-3pm


Five Things I am Getting at the Market this Saturday

  1. Greens. I really eat better when there are so many cute farmers selling me kale.
  2. Honey. I eat honey like a pooh bear and put spoonsfull in my coffee. which brings me to...
  3. Coffee. Several great local roasters and ways to drink it.  It helps me stay cheerful and productive all week and especially at market.
  4. Treats. From pie to scones & macaroons to chocolate pretzels to the ever wafting smell of kettlecorn. I am planning on putting something sweet in my mouth. And if I'm lucky, someone will have some other treat they can't quite finish and give me a bite...
  5. Hugs. I'll admit, I'm not actually much of a hugger. But after a long winter of solitude, even I will be giving some hugs to vendors and customers I have missed in the off season.
What's on your list?